3.5 stars of 5 stars
Maxwell Bryce, the Duke of Rothwell, hasn't been back to his ducal seat in 15 years, not since the tragic death of his mother. Due to unforeseen circumstances, he and his guests land there, and Max comes face-to-face with his childhood love, Miss Abby Linton. Abby who is nearing 30 years old is tired of being shuttled between her siblings. She loves taking care of her nieces and nephews, but she wants to take charge of her life. She becomes the governess to Lady Gwendolyn, the duke's younger sister. Max hasn't been home for years and Abby is content to go into service without worrying about running into her first love who deserted her 15 years ago.
This is the first book I've read by Ms. Drake. The plot moved along well. I liked Abby and was happy to see her finally stand up for herself. I detested her family though. They were selfish and treated Abby like a servant. I have mixed feelings about Max. I wanted to love him, but I found him to be shallow. He basically ignored his beloved sister for years while he lived the bachelor/rake life in London. It was only by happenstance that he ended up at home and even then, he didn't spend much time with her. I did enjoy the second chance at love aspect of the story between Max and Abby and there were some good scenes full of tension and angst. While there was an HEA, I would have liked an epilogue to see how her family reacted to her new status.
I received a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review and was not obligated to leave a review.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Award-winning author Olivia Drake begins her new Unlikely Duchesses series with THE DUKE I ONCE KNEW (St. Martin’s Paperbacks; December 31, 2018). With compelling characters and skillful plot twists, Drake’s latest novel will take your breath away.
First love is always the sweetest…
For years, Abigail Linton devoted herself to caring for her parents and her siblings’ children. Now, eager to create a life of her own, Abby seizes upon a position as a governess on a neighboring estate. Unfortunately, her absentee employer is Maxwell Bryce, the Duke of Rothwell, the notorious rake who once broke her youthful heart. But since he hasn’t set foot on his estate for fifteen years, Abby assumes she’ll never have to lay eyes on him ever again.
Then, from out of nowhere, Max appears. He is stunned to come face to face with the girl next door he fell for years ago—before he went away, and she stopped writing to him … even though Abby swears that he is the one who left her without a word. Could it be that this spirited, witty spinster has won Max’s heart all over again—and that they may have a second chance at love?
Buy this book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250174376
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Olivia Drake is the author of the Cinderella Sisterhood series (Seducing the Heiress, Never Trust a Rogue, Scandal of the Year, If the Slipper Fits, Stroke of Midnight, Abducted by the Prince, Bella and the Beast, His Wicked Wish, and The Scandalous Flirt). She has been a member of Romance Writers of America since 1981, and her novels have won the Golden Heart Award, Best Historical Romantic Suspense and Best Regency Historical from Romantic Times. She has also won the prestigious RITA award. She currently resides in Houston, TX.
Author website: http://oliviadrake.com/
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